People say time heals all wounds, but they never say how much time. Last month, I learned that, for me, time meant a little over two years. It is just now that I'm finally settling into a breakup that I had experienced back in 2016.
The breakup affected my belief in God and the very foundation I set my faith on. While, I've been constantly affirmed and comforted throughout this healing process – by God and my loving friends – it wasn't until recently that I've accepted the fact that I am actually single.
My ex and I have worked hard to maintain a friendship and be strictly platonic in doing so. But his presence made it hard to actually feel single. I still, for some reason, felt like I owed him the same level of loyalty I afforded him throughout our three-year relationship; and because I was committed to doing so, I delayed the true beauty of my singleness.
Now that I'm finally settling into this season, I've been tapping into the true essence of what it is: My singleness.
So often people frown on the beauty of our single season. People want to avoid it like the plague – thinking that being single means being lonely or unloved. But in fact, being single means far greater things than that. Singleness means solitude, self-love, self-discovery, self-appreciation, and selfishness (there's nothing wrong with that). It means figuring yourself out, learning what you do and don't like, and understanding who you are at your core. Singleness means you have time to cater to yourself in the way you catered, so lovingly, to your ex. It means finding your own joy and learning to maintain it.
Settling into singleness means doing for you, not them.
During my recent revelation, I realized that I no longer had to do the things for my ex that I used to. I didn't have to be a listening ear if I didn't want to. I didn't have to sacrifice my schedule for the sake of his, or change my plans to accommodate his desire to see me. Shoot, I didn't even have to answer the phone if I didn't want to. I could be as present, or as absent, as I desired.
This was liberating. All my time, resources, and energy could be dedicated to me. I didn't have to be there – physically or emotionally – anymore. I didn't have to consider his feelings when it came to big decisions or limit certain friendships to make him comfortable. I was able to do me without considering anyone else but me.
That's what singleness is – dedicating time to focusing solely on you; your growth; your healing; your joy. Singleness is a moment of freedom and liberation – of exploration and discovery – not sadness and defeat.
So, in your season of singleness, own your power to do and live for self.
Cook what you want and eat as much of it as you want. Have sex with whomever you want, whenever you want – or don't have sex at all. Go out as frequently as you want, as late as you want. Manage your schedule around your own activities, and not anyone else's (unless you have kids). Purchase those concert tickets, or book your flight, without waiting for someone to check their calendar. Let the Instagram likes and heart-eyed emojis fly. Watch all the ratchet TV you can, or binge watch all the Netflix series' your heart desires.
Hang out with your friends – the "good examples" and the "bad" ones. Switch jobs. Move into a new apartment. Spend all your money on Chick-Fil-A. Drink all the wine. Use one dish for the whole month. Tweet your favorite celebrity crush; make them your phone wallpaper. Do your hair – or don't. Look at your phone while it rings, then text the person once they hang up. Dedicate more time to family. Find your new favorite bar and go there every week. Launch your business. Start your website. Make new friends. Change your wardrobe. Organize your life. Cleanse your energy. Repent for your mistakes; forgive yourself, too.
Simply do what feels good and right to you for you.
Settling into my singleness meant settling more into me. In doing so, I've unleashed a power of self-sufficiency and unwavering peace. I have let go of the hope of rekindling an old relationship and stopped feeling sad for my situation. Instead, I've become empowered in my ability to do what I desire, when I desire, how I desire.
Being single isn't a disease or a disorder. It's a level of freedom that you may not have once you settle down. It's an invitation to find and learn yourself, first. And if we look at it that way – learning how to please ourselves fully, understand our own processes, and truly explore joy and peace in our lives – we'll enter our next relationship better women and better partners.
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